Students sound off on chapel texting ban

 

The biggest issue I have with texting or doing homework during chapel is the lack of respect such actions display. While some people probably don’t care to sit and listen to chapel speakers, there is no reason why anyone should publicize his or her disinterest by texting during the service. To me, it is disrespectful and rude.

There are students who really do go to chapel with the hopes of being able to learn and participate in what the speaker is teaching. Texting, listening to an iPod or doing homework is distracting to those who wish to engage in and focus on the sermon.

I also believe the Malone administration was justified in bringing attention to the issue, due to the fact that chapel is much like a class. While we aren’t “graded” on chapel attendance, we are required to attend, much like how a college class is structured. Most professors have rules against listening to music or using cell phones during class, so doesn’t it make sense that the same policies should apply to chapel?

I believe there is always something to be learned when we gather together in a spirit of worship and open our hearts to what God has to teach us. The least we can do is follow the rules of common courtesy and respect to the chapel speakers. In doing so, we are also encouraging an environment of reverence to God.

Leah Klug is a contributing writer for Aviso AVW.

Campus Ministries has made an effort to stop students from texting in chapel this year. (Photo by Kaitie Fox)

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Chapel’s an odd thing. As a Christian I have this vague feeling I ought to want to go to chapel, and yet I find I never do.

Possibly this is because some of the speakers, frankly, are not very good, but I don’t think this is the main reason. They’re not generally bad speakers, exactly. More precisely, I think is because I am rather busy, as are most college students.

Church activities are something rather up to my discretion. If events conspire against me I can choose not to go in order to, say, study for an important exam. Chapel offers me no such option. Granted, I don’t need to go to every chapel, but I need to go often enough that it puts a burden on my schedule.

However, I understand the point of chapel. This is a Christian university and the administration wants the students to have exposure to the gospel. Fair enough. And if even one of them comes to Christ then I cannot complain.

The recent crackdown on electronics use during chapel reflects this desire, and it is understandable. This doesn’t affect me terribly, but if they ever decided to punish homework doers then I might be in occasional trouble.

Of course I am a Christian. You might say that I should pay attention for my spiritual fulfillment, but I have homework and my parent’s contributed tuition money to think about. You could say that I should be getting it done another time, and I would tell you to shut it. I’m a double major with a job and friends and a girlfriend and a family that I don’t talk to enough. I also go to church and attend my floor bible study and do improv comedy and a host of other things.

Many of you are likely just as busy or even more so, with full-time jobs and nursing degrees and whatever. But chapel is there for a reason and it’s a good reason. I will do nothing to distract those around me who might need Christ, and I encourage everyone to give at least half an ear to the speaker, as some of them are actually pretty good, but I’d be lying if I said I always give full attention to the speaker, and I don’t really think anyone, Malone included, expects anyone else to do much better.

Corey Clark is a contributing writer for Aviso AVW.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Cale Short says:

    My phone gives me more spiritual fulfillment than chapel.

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  2. Linda Leon says:

    I appreciate reading your comments about chapel – be it about texting or other aspects of the worship service. It’s important for us to get this feedback.

    I will be holding two focus groups with students soon as part of a chapel research project that I’m facilitating; please consider taking part. I will advertise the opportunity to all students when it is scheduled. The groups are limited to 8 students each, and I’d like to have students there who like chapel, don’t like chapel, or are somewhere in-between. You’ll get to share your opinions around specific questions that I’ll be asking, and your comments will remain confidential.

    Of course, you don’t have to come to a focus group to talk to Campus Ministries about chapel – feel free to stop by our office anytime on the second floor of the Barn.

    Linda Leon, Dir. of Campus Ministries

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  3. Samuel Taylor says:

    Linda,

    I think you would obtain better results if you initiated a campus-wide poll that asks the opinion of the entire student body. The fact is, the large majority of Malone students don’t enjoy being forced to attend chapel as adults. Having 24 students share their opinion, however they lean, isn’t quite representative of the student body. That’s just a student’s opinion.

    Oh, and I dislike chapel.

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  4. Linda Leon says:

    Sam – I’m in the middle of a long-term chapel research project where I’ve been conducting focus groups with different campus constiuencies (faculty, staff, President’s Cabinet, etc.). I’ve scheduled two focus groups for students on October 26; check your student email account for details. I’d like students to sign up who like chapel, who don’t like chapel, or who are somewhere in-between…so, basically, anyone is welcome.

    Also, this research project will include an all-campus questionnaire (students, faculty and staff) which will be issued in the spring semester. Some of the questions will be open-ended, so extensive feedback can be given.

    LL

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  5. Christina Baad says:

    I am a commuter and I have 6 kids with a 7th on the way. I have early classes so I can pick up my kids after school therefore I am required to attend nearly all chapel services. There doesn’t appear to be a chapel excuse form for a single service so when I miss due to my kids or my own dr. appts, I suffer punishment for that. Sometimes, there isn’t any other option except to miss a class or chapel to take the kids to their appts. Chapel seems to be an all or nothing affair and it’s an extra burden that makes it where instead of enjoying a christian presentation, I dread the time I spend there simply because I don’t have a choice in the matter, even when I have a legitimate excuse for not being able to be there.

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